By: Nicholas Laag, CEO, Prime Data Centers
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Q&A with Prime Data Centers CEO on the New Sacramento Campus

Prime Data Centers develops, acquires and operates data centers for enterprises. Through our own properties, customer assets (sale-leaseback) or greenfield developments, Prime delivers wholesale colocation, build-to-suit, and powered shell solutions. A private firm owned by a group controlling $6 billion of assets, with a 15-year tenure in technology and real estate, Prime provides customers with ownership options and dynamic leasing models defining a true corporate partnership.

Their CEO, Nicholas Laag, recently answered some questions about Prime’s new Sacramento data center campus. (Video walkthrough of the property on YouTube here.)

Data Center POST, Jamie White (DCP-JW) Question: What led you to build this new Sacramento campus?
Prime Data Centers, Nicholas Laag (PDC-NL) Answer: We decided to build this new campus because we’re very bullish on Sacramento as a data center hub. It has the least expensive electric rates in the state of California, at a much higher level of reliability than most of the other utilities in the state. It also has less than 3ms of latency with the San Francisco Bay Area and is an easy drive there for any facilities staff based in the Bay Area. The seismic profile of Sacramento is far safer than anywhere near the California coastline. Our campus is also the only data center in greater Sacramento above the 500-year floodplain. This makes the site perfect for disaster recovery/business continuity purposes.

DCP-JW Q: Your press release quotes Barry Broome of the Greater Sacramento Economic Council and mentions SMUD. Tell us more about the relationship Prime has with your Sacramento partners.

PDC-NL A: We’ve got a great working relationship with GSEC and SMUD. In fact, SMUD’s reliability, affordability, and sustainability as the electric utility for our Sacramento campus play a huge role in the total value proposition to our prospective tenants. We wrote about that in-depth on our blog here. In addition to GSEC and SMUD, we’re also working closely with the team behind the McClellan Park development, including Larry Kelley. Larry’s actually an equity partner with us. McClellan Park is on the old McClellan Air Force base and has been designated as a Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ), which is another big part of the value proposition to our customers.

DCP-JW Q: In your conversations with prospective tenants, what aspects of this campus are the most compelling?
PDC-NL A: That’s easy. 1) Cheap, reliable, and sustainable electricity from SMUD, 2) Enable customers to capitalize on their lease through ownership and dynamic leasing models, 3) New tax advantages stemming from the Qualified Opportunity Zone that allow us for the first time to offer customers a TCO that is lower or on par with Reno, Hillsboro, and Phoenix.

DCP-JW Q: What are your future plans for the campus? Expansion?
PDC-NL A: Yes, our campus is on 38 acres, which we intended to be very scalable. The 38-acre parcel has 1 million square feet buildable gross leasable area (GLA), which can fit multiple build-to-suit or powered-shell projects. We’ve currently built-out and commissioned Building 1, with up to 8MW of N+1 critical power, and we have designs ready for a 12MW Building 2, as well as a 20MW Building 3. We have a 50MVA privately-owned substation expandable to 150MVA.

DCP-JW Q: What can you tell us about your plans beyond Sacramento?
PDC-NL A: In addition to our new Sacramento campus, we have three other California assets: two developments in Santa Clara and one in Hayward. We start construction this summer on 1111 Comstock, Santa Clara and are going through entitlement on our second project that will be able to deliver 35MW of critical power. Hayward is built and fully leased. Beyond California, we are also evaluating some new acquisitions in other states such as Virginia. You’ll hear more about those future projects from Prime Data Centers in the coming months, so stay tuned!

About Nicholas Laag:

Photo credit: Prime Data Centers

Nicholas Laag is the CEO of Prime Data Centers. He has over 15 years of experience in private equity investments and executive-level operations in Europe and Asia with experience in real estate and infrastructure companies. He was previously CEO of United Waters China and board member of several of the group companies.